A wellness oasis in the Maldives


When you imagine a trip to the Maldives, you picture powdery white sand, overwater villas, atolls teeming with marine life and Manta rays in the lagoon. Not many of us would associate the luxurious holiday destination with wellness but Como Cocoa Island will have you change your mind because it offers more than just an escape from reality.

Como Cocoa Island features 33 suites and villas that have been constructed keeping local aesthetics in mind. The pinewood bungalows feature thatched roofs, teak floors, high raftered ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows that open out onto large outdoor decks. Amenities at the resort include space for yoga and meditation, a hydrotherapy pool with steam facility, a gymnasium, the famous Coco Shambhala Wellness Retreat, a 25meter infinity pool with a poolside bar, and a fine-dining restaurant.

Activities include diving, snorkeling, fishing, sunset cruises, and dolphin spotting. And if you’re feeling adventurous, head out on a whale shark expedition in hopes of snorkeling with the gentle sea giants

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The luxury retreat’s exquisite design draws a substantial amount of stimulus from its spectacular surroundings. The suites and villas, decked in hues of blue and white to accurately reflect the area’s color scheme, are inspired by the locality’s famous curved wooden ‘dhoni’ fishing boats, as is evident by how the rooms arc out from the island. By building the rooms offshore, Como Cocoa Island gives visitors a rare chance to take a dip in the crystal clear Maldivian sea, right from their doorstep. Each residential unit is connected via simple sinuous boardwalks that add to the hotel’s rustic appeal. However, the two biggest jewels in Como Cocoa Island’s crown have to be the Como Villas. Situated on either end of the island, these two villas are known for their glorious sunrises and sunsets respectively.

Besides in-room dining, and private dining at one of the islands several stunning locations, Como Cocoa Island also features Ufaa, an all-day fine dining restaurant that prides itself on preparing modern takes on traditional South Indian and Mediterranean classics as well as some delicious, freshly caught seafood. But if it’s healthy living that you seek, give the Como Shambhala cuisine a try; it’s available at the Como Shambhala Spa, via in-room dining, or at Ufaa itself. The hotel also has a poolside watering hole called the Faru Bar; perfect for sipping locally crafted cocktails while having a cigar and grooving to some easy beats as the sun sinks into the turquoise expanse.

Como Hotels is also globally famous for its award-winning wellness centres called Como Shambhala Retreat. Besides a list of meticulously planned packages, the spa and wellness centre also offers 9 different massage therapies including reflexology, body and facial care treatments, and a host of activities that concentrate on physical well being including a fully stocked gym, hydrotherapy pool, yoga classes, and privately guided meditation and pranayama sessions.

The Como Shambhala Retreat at Cocoa Island offers patrons four packages to choose from. The Rejuvenation Path includes a yoga session, custom bath, skin exfoliation and cleanse, salt scrub, light massage, healthy lunch, and finally a deep tissue massage. The Relaxation Path is targeted at easing stress and incorporates a Javanese Royal Lulur bath and scrub, reflexology, and a customized facial. The Restoration Path includes two massages, reflexology, a customized facial, and a manicure and pedicure session. The final package on the menu is the Revitalization Path, which is unique because of its aqua therapy session. The warm water massage is known to be an effective treatment for chronic pains and aches. The package also includes a gentle full body massage and soothing Sundari facial.

Como Cocoa Island is an ideal escape for those looking for a break from civilization as its remote location, heart-stopping views, and clever planning and design, ensure that your experience is akin to those only ever seen on the silver screen. My mornings would start with a healthy breakfast followed by a cycle ride to the activity centre for some snorkelling. I would grab a robe and head to the spa for some TLC and spend the afternoon reading working from my overwater villa. I jump in for a swim at sunset and help myself to a seafood platter under the stars. I’ve realised that nothing quite beats a private island in the middle of the ocean!

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Jia singh
About me

I am a Delhi-based nutritionist, food & wellness consultant and freelance features writer. I write for a variety of different magazines and websites in India and overseas on restaurants, travel, wellness and food.

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